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WE ARE OBSERVING FROM AFAR VIA INTERNET CONNECTION
For a link to the LWV of Weston OBSERVER CORPS please click on "LWV" logo below right.


 

       
        
More links...FWIW - Budget Process FY21 over.  A very tough one.  Who knows what the next budget season will require?
   
COVID:  All Emergency Orders - note public meeting laws are suspended and more...

SEPTEMBER

Zoning Board of Appeals September 29, 2020 - Public Hearing on side line variances for non-conforming lot on Georgetown Road - denied, 5-0.




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AUGUST

Selectmen Public Hearings Thursday August 6, 2020 (Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program 6:15pm) and a second (start/stop construction times - 6:45pm).  And finishing up with a
Special Town Meeting Davis Hill Road Bridge conveyance of property at 7pm.


JULY

SPECIAL P&Z Monday July 27, 2020 at 7:15pm via ZOOM - no agenda yet posted.

Conservation Commission Thursday July 23, 2020 at 7:30pm

Selectmen Special Board of Selectmen Wednesday 7:30pm t6p 8:45pm...

Board of Selectmen Thursday July 16, 2020 at 7:30pm via ZOOM - agenda

Special Board of Selectmen Thursday July 16, 2020 at 7pm
SPECIAL BUILDING COMMITTEE Monday July 13, 2020 at 7:30pm - agenda.  This may not have been posted on the Town website 24 hrs. in advance - we're pretty sure of that - but in any event will try to find out what happened for sure once minutes are posted. And we would note for the record that the Building Committee is the best entity (we give them an "A+++") for posting both minutes and video recording.
"SPECIAL" BOARD OF FINANCE (time changed) THURSDAY JULY 9, 2020 at 6PM via ZOOM:  "play-by-play"
Building Committee Wednesday July 8, 2020 at 7:30pm - nope.  First Selectman posted a message on the Town website indicating how Town Hall project is proceeding.
WE DID NOT ATTEND Lachat Town Farm Commission Tuesday July 7, 2020 at 7:30pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89007956940?pwd=SkZyR1dIMCtBMndSU1NEOFRRM3FJQT09#success .

WE DID NOT ATTEND Facilities Optimization Committee Tuesday July 7, 2020 via Google Meet - agenda.  Approval of the previous meeting minutes is Item #1.

Police Commission, Tuesday July 7, 2020 at 7pm via ZOOM - play-by-play.

P&Z Monday July 6, 2020 at 7:15pm via ZOOM

Board of Selectmen Thursday July 2, 2020 - and news from Facilities Optimization here in debate about budget freeze - play-by-play

JUNE
 
Facilities Optimization Committee Tuesday June 30, 2020 at 7pm - we shall endeavor to watch or listen to this later or read the minutes...especially to see if anything was voted upon.
Special Board of Selectmen Tuesday  June 30, 2020 at 3:15pm via Google Meet, 3:15 - 3:45pm - http://www.aboutweston.com/Selectmen2017-2019.html#6-30-20
Implementation of the new Town Plan with 3 P&Z members present:  https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6953763/Full-WestonPOCD-061120.pdf
Special Board of Selectmen Thursday June 25, 2020 at 7:30pm - "play-by-play"
Building Committee Wednesday June 24, 2020 - "play-by-play."
ZBA Public Hearing Tuesday June 23, 2020 at 7:30pm via ZOOM - we cannot attend but look forward to finding out what happened - http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/ZBATownWebsitePublicHearing62320.pdf
Special Library Board Meeting Monday June 22, 2020 7:30pm via ZOOM - "play-by-play"
Board of Selectmen Thursday June 18, 2020 - "play-by-play"

Special Board of Selectmen PUBLIC HEARINGS (virtual) - Thursday June 18, 2020 at 7pm - over in a flash!  More here.
Building Committee Wednesday June 17, 2020 at 7:30pm via Google Meet - "play-by-play".
Facilities Optimization Committee Tuesday June 16, 2020 7-8pm (best meetings in town!) - http://www.aboutweston.com/GFC.html#foc6-16-20
Special Planning & Zoning Commission Monday June 15, 2020 at 7:15pm via ZOOM adopts new Town Plan of C&D effective July 1, 2020
Board of Finance Thursday June 11, 2020 at 6pm via ZOOM - "play-by-play"
Marketing & Communication Advisory Committee, Wednesday June 10, 2020 at 7:30pm via ZOOM - "play-by-play"
Building Committee scheduled for 6-10-20 but we believe, based upon last week's notes that they will be meeting next week instead...
Parks & Recreation, Monday June 8, 2020 at 7:45pm via telephone - "play-by-play" on connectivity item here.
Planning & Zoning Saturday June 6th Public Hearing on 2020 POCD - We did not attend but got 2 reports, both from the most reliable sources (not from P&Z or Selectmen).  Virtual attendance slight but vocal on various issues (traffic, sustainability, water testing, Town Center, affordable housing).
I like to watch public meetings "live" from the beginning, and the Finance Board went on 'til 8pm - I watched the Board of Selectmen Thursday June 4, 2020 meeting as a re-run - "play-by-play."
Board of Finance Thursday June 4, 2020 6pm - 8pm via Zoom brought "zero" to budget BUT deliberation was split 4-3 (not on Party lines).  How much of the General Fund should be tapped to arrive at zero was the issue.  Mill Rate 32.37.  NOTE:  This meeting had been intended to be held on June 2nd, but there were "technical difficulties" that prevented participation by both members and the public.

Special Building Committee Wednesday June 3, 2020 at 7:30pm - "play-by-play"
Facility Optimization Committee Tuesday June 2, 2020 via Google Meet - agenda.

Police Commission Tuesday June 2, 2020 at 7pm via ZOOM - http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/TuesdayJune22020Agenda.pdf
 
Planning & Zoning Monday June 1, 2020 at 7:15 - agenda postedWe will be "going to" the Board of Finance (above).  Instead, when available, we will refer to the excellent P&Z minutes to find out what happened.

MAY

Conservation Commission, virtual Thursday May 28, 2020 at 7:30pm - http://www.aboutweston.com/eightmile.htm#5-28-20
SIDEWALK DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION, Wednesday May 27, 2020 at 9:30am showing the concept plans - the meeting agenda.

Zoning Board of Appeals, Tuesday May 26, 2020 at 7:30pm - VIRTUAL PUBLIC HEARING: 
http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/ZBAMtgAgendaHearingNotice5262020.pdf

Special Board of Selectmen, Thursday May 21, 2020 at 7:30pm virtual meeting - play-by-play here.

Special Board of Finance, Thursday May 21, 2020 play-by-play here
so the final "deliberation" will by held June 1st...
Special Building Committee Wednesday May 20, 2020 at 7:30pm virtual meeting - play-by-play here.

Facilities Optimization Committee, Tuesday May 19, 2020 at 7pm via Google Meet - we hope to listen to the "tape" soon.  BTW - BEST MINUTES by F.O.C.
SPECIAL BOARD OF SELECTMEN Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 3:30pm on Google Meet - our play-by-play here.

Beautification Committee Wednesday May 13, 2020 at 1:30pm - plans to be received in a week or two (3 bids), decision to be made, and then OK on choice sought from Selectmen to proceed with fund raising.
SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 7:45pm via Google Meet - great news for the meeting on Town Plan date & time (Sat. June 6 at 9am)

Board of Selectmen May 7, 2020 at 7:30PM:  Agenda includes lots of good stuff - Selectmen2017-2019.html#5-7-20


#2 - Board of Finance Deliberation and but no vote FY'21, Thursday, May 7, 2020 at 6pm:  http://www.aboutweston.com/BudgetProcessfy21.html#5-7-20
BUILDING COMMITTEE May 6, 2020 at 7:30pm via Google Meet - bldgcom.html#5-6-20
SIDEWALK COMMITTEE at 9:30am via Go To Meeting - agenda;  we have a conflict but will try to retrieve this meeting because it should be available...
Facilities Optimization Committee:  Tuesday May 5, 2020 at 7:30pm - 9:35pm.  We watched rerun:  Our play-by-play here.

POLICE COMMISSION:  Tuesday May 5, 2020 at 7PM via
TELECONFERENCE - and the report is here: 
http://www.aboutweston.com/regionalpolice.html#5-5-20
Planning & Zoning, May 4, 2020 at 7:15pm - P&Z gets the prize for the best meeting notice:  play-by-play here.
#1 - Board of Finance Virtual Public Hearing over now our play-by-play on the 3 plus hour exercise in public input!.
Please be advised Official Information about Town, School and Capital budgets now online here

Which now includes that favorite item - how much will it cost me?  By house value: 
http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/PropertyTax.pdf
OUR FY'21BUDGET BACKGROUND PAGE

What was the Board of Finance Public Hearing like last year (FY20)Better "turnout" this year?



APRIL

BUILDING COMMITTEE, Wednesday April 29, 2020 at 7:30pm  via Google Meet
Conservation Commission, Thursday, April 23, 2020 via Zoom.  Play-by-play;  To find the maps for each click here:  http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/CCAgenda4232020.pdf
Facilities Optimization Committee, Tuesday April 21, 2020, 7pm, "Google Meet" - AGENDA.  Google Meet bounced us.  But were there for "call-in" news report here.
Board of Selectmen, April 16, 2020 at 7:30pm - agenda.  We watched it via Zoom and wrote this report:  http://www.aboutweston.com/Selectmen2017-2019.html#4-16-20

BUILDING COMMITTEE, Wednesday April 8, 2020 at 7:30pm - 9pm - play-by-play.
SIDEWALK COMMITTEE, Wednesday April 8, 2020 at 9:30am - "play-by-play" partial (we got on late).
Police Commission CANCELLED for April 7 or is it 8, 2020.
Board of Finance, Tuesday April 7, 2020, 7:30pm - agenda and backup.  Including thisOUR REPORT HERE.  We note that date named was April 25th but  later the date was changed to May 2nd by Selectmen.
Facilities Optimization Committee, Tuesday April 7, 2020 at 6pm (changed time) - we have received and read backup - thank you!   Play-by-play here.
Planning & Zoning April 6, 2020 at 7:15pm in the Town Hall Annex - CANCELLED.
POSTPONED - PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION PUBLIC HEARING ON THE NEW TOWN PLAN April 4, 2020 at 10:30a.m. in the Weston Middle School Library
Board of Selectmen, Thursday April 2, 2020 at 7:30pm, via GO-TO-MEETING - play-by-play of this almost two-hour meeting.
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION April 1, 2020 at 8pm via Zoom - play-by-play including picture here.


MARCH


Special Board of Finance e-meeting Thursday March 26, 2020 at 3pm - play-by-play of this very important and informative meeting here.
Facility Optimization Committee e-meeting Wednesday March 25, 2020 - at 8a.m., our play-by-play here
Special Board of Finance e-meeting, Tuesday March 24, 2020 at 3pm;  POSTPONED:  http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/BoardofFinanceagenda3-24-20.pdf
BOARD OF FINANCE PUBLIC HEARING ON TOWN AND SCHOOL FY21 BUDGETS, March 24, 2020 at 8pm, W.M.S. Library - POSTPONED.
BOARD OF FINANCE 3-19-20 agenda and meeting notes... we (and Weston-Today) listened from home - our play-by-play here


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Town of Weston website for official minutes of boards, committees and commissions:   http://www.westonct.gov/meetings/29875











  
     
 


Background, how we decide what to attend and links:  Note that if the content of the meeting agenda warrants. we may change from our hierarchy.

        

COVID-19 has changed the protocols for public meetings in CT - everything in Weston now "Virtual" using various tools.
So we report on everything related to our usual favorites - plus, now Conservation has been added to complement P&Z!  It is the sixth entity we cover as a matter of course.

5 BOARDS/COMMISSIONS/COMMITTEES ON OUR RADAR - WE'RE THERE TO REPORT.

Norwalk HOUR is Weston's newspaper of record -
and now for W.H.S. sports!  We will read the sports news and report!!!
AT RIGHT, LINK TO ALL CT LEGISLATORS.


WHY READ US FIRST?
About Town tells the story with pictures/captions THAT VERY NIGHT OR A.S.A.P.

And this Legislative Session we're looking out for you at C.G.A.

 
TOWN OF WESTON WEBSITE
(find history of all town board/commission meetings, regular and special, listed here including Police Commission** and Board of Education***).



#1 - Board of Selectmen
 
Woody Bliss, Gayle Weinstein, Nina Daniel and now Chris Spaulding the First Selectmen represented in About Weston website reports.  Previously, George Guidera (1987-1999) was First Selectman (we have been following the meetings of the Weston Board of Selectmen - every meeting but one - since mid-1991).  If you want to know what happened since November 16, 2001, our reports are online here (see links at the bottom of the page);  from 1991 until 2001 we did not have an "About Weston" website (Hal Shupack, 1999-2001, thus not represented online here either).



#2 - Board of Finance  regular and special meeting reports, things recommended to review, by About Weston.  Finance Board - FY'20.  Previous budget cycles:  on index page, type into search box "weston budget"



#3 - Planning and Zoning Commission  regular and special meeting reports, by About Weston.  P&Z  Commission posted official minutes. 



#4, especially in the summer, The Weston Building Committee.  On this page you will find our reports on their meetings that we have attended previously.



#5, added this year, Board of Police Commissioners.


#6, just added, as all meetings (not including "walks") of Conservation Commission now "virtual."





ABOUT TOWN'S RESEARCH PAGE FOR P&Z MATTERS


ABOUT TOWN'S MILLENIAL'S PAGE
Link to our 2020 Vision page.
          

T H E    P L A N :    F I R S T  ,     T H E    T O W N    C E N T E R   M A S T E R    P L A N     
  

  
Link to our reports on the OFFICIAL PROCESS.


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FOOTNOTES

*
= If Special Meetings conflict, our attendance will be prioritized by issues and if video will be available; 
**
= Older Police Commission minutes posted on Town of Weston website;  our sporadic P.C. notes and related matters here.
***
= Board of Education agenda/minutes link.  We have followed education issues here for many years...






BUT WE DO KEEP OUR EYE ON HARTFORD...


CT  LEGISLATURE
A new, blue day in 2019-2021 term.
EXTRA RESEARCH SOURCES
LINK to Special Town Meetings through the years,
YouTube link to First Selectman 2018 interview for "About Town"
What is on the public's mind, 2019?   topics covered this year...

Watch it in its entirety - direct Speak Up YouTube link here.



THE "WHAT'S UP?" DEPARTMENT:

Are you confused about what is going on in Weston (please, only Weston CT)?  Ask us!

Let's face it.  Since the original Weston FORUM, owned and run by a Weston resident, was sold to the Acorn Press in the early 1990's, coverage has not been the same. 

When the FORUM began in @1967 until 1990, there was a reporter for every major Board and Commission. and a wonderful "feature" writer who could cover hard news in a pinch. 

And the revered editor/publisher covered the Board of Selectmen,  many thought, directing them from the last row in the Town Hall Meeting Room!!!  In fact, when she sold her newspaper to Acorn Press, the 18 yr Town Administrator put in his resignation shortly thereafter.





Reelected, the Board of Selectmen meets Friday Nov. 8, 2019
Video by Weston Today edits a capella young Weston voices singing Star Spangled Banner at Swearing In Ceremony later in the afternoon.




"WESTON LWV STATE OF THE TOWN - BOARD OF SELECTMEN": 
http://www.aboutweston.com/Government.html#weston

And things didn't get any better for FY'20 Budget Process: 
https://www.aboutweston.com/fiscal2020weston.html
 

My question is what are we teaching the children by playing the system?  Answer:  Protesting authority works.



2018 A.T.B.M.:  NO QUORUM PRESENT.  CROWD OF 105 HIGHER THAN LAST YEAR (92) BUT STILL SHORT OF THE QUORUM OF 130.
Too bad we didn't have a quorum (there actually were people there - this picture taken to emphasize empty chairs) - I think someone is missing up front???





SPEAK-UP 2020 AWESOME SUCCESS - NOT A SECRET THIS YEAR!!!

WATCH ON YOUTUBE HERE: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=wjfavmegRbc&feature=emb_logo
 


"SPEAK UP 2020" - the 29th consecutive such event - IS OVER...

This Speak Up 2020 seemed to be different in a number of ways.  HIGHLIGHTS:


SUMMARY:
All these years later, traffic seemed still to be one of the big issues - particular intersections.  Schools, budget and regionalization brought up.

And in the audience were Town employees who had the answers for "when will Valley Forge Road reopen?"
As well as any questions about property transfers, date of election activity for Presidential Primary or dog licenses or almost anything else you want to know.

 
AND THE FIRST QUESTION WENT TO...P&Z - WHAT NEXT? (Ans. April 4th Town Plan Public Hearing, W.M.S. Library 7:30pm)




Planning & Zoning got another later...someone asked about Cobb's Mill Inn.


TAXES AND WHITHER THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT?


 


SOMEONE WONDERING ABOUT TAX BASE?
Taxes got interest both from the audience as well as in lots of interchange among those on stage wanting to chip in and amplify answers.

SIDEWALKS?  What kind and where?



TRAFFIC, INTERSECTIONS AND SUSTAINABILITY


More that I can recall...questions always seem to pick up intensity toward the end...


Topics were addressed in this order:
  1. Town Plan
  2. Property Taxes
  3. Increasing State grabbing money - decrease in aid ("claw back")
  4. Village District?
  5. School Start Times
  6. Intersection:  Norfield & Rte. 57 signage and turning???
  7. Can we bring more businesses to Fairfield County?
  8. Sidewalks?
  9. Intersections:  Local streets Steep Hill & Good Hill;  Broad St. & Cavalry Rd.
  10. What is happening if anything with Cobb's Mill Inn?
  11. Consolidation of services:  Regional Dispatch?  Combining finance departments?  School-Town buildings and grounds maintenance?
  12. What can we do to attract people to move here?  Emphasis on Sustainability?
  13. Eliminate State income tax in order to attract people/businesses? 
  14. Wells - water as a public trust so why can't the Legislature trust the Towns to hold stronger standards to protect wells?



FOR THE ANSWER TO THESE MATTERS AND MUCH MORE, WESTON LWV EXPECTS TO HAVE VIDEO UP BY MIDWEEK





Best secret in Town...2019 Speak Up



SPEAK UP XXVIII IS HISTORY...WATCH IT NOW!
That amazing event LWV of Weston runs - every bit of the 90 minutes was worth hearing and seeing!!!  Watch last year's event below to compare questions!

        

"SPEAK UP":  When we arrived to set up video cameras the Library was closed...90 minutes later it was standing room only!!!  The full Legislative Delegation showed up and was very helpful in fielding budget, taxes and direction issues.

                    
REGIONAL SCHOOL SYSTEM?  CT PASSING RETIREMENT OBLIGATIONS FOR TEACHERS TO THE TOWNS?
Town Plan, regionalization, traffic, coyotes, the first 4 questions.  Then it started...how the heck do we deal with school budget when the Grand List is shrinking?  School system managing on multiple fronts?  Can we stay afloat?
There is a technical tipping point between property values and mil rates (i.e.  the lower the mil rate and higher the property value)...



Public enemy #1 for cats...







WATCH ON YOUTUBE:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZFBvBuG69M&feature=youtu.be

Unofficial list of questions/topics asked at Speak Up 2019" - not necessarily in order.
  1. Town Plan (when does the public get to get involved) - answer: April 6th "charrette" (May 4th #2 charrette)
  2. State-wide property tax?
  3. Coyotes a problem, what are we doing?
  4. Traffic control...Police Chief answered - q&a above.
  5. Weston finances...its tax base?
  6. Weston finances...legislation taking away car tax revenue?
  7. Regionalizing schools?
  8. Early voting/absentee voting?
  9. CT downloading teacher retirement onto towns?
  10. No complaining on school budget in citizen survey because sample over-weighted?  Seniors and empty-nesters undercounted?
  11. What is happening to the arts in W.P.S.?
  12. How do we keep the municipal ship afloat if State "shares" its debt with towns?
  13. News of 2019 Kiwanis Reservoir Run (October) and Dog Jamboree (September), 2019!!!  WOOF!!!
  14. Death panels?
  15. Legalize marijuana?  This is a matter for concern, as our Police Chief commented as he responded to the last question.




SPEAK UP 2018:

WATCH ON YOUTUBE:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=d5fct4B9-ek



Unofficial questions ("answers" on the video now available) click above.
  1. The event began with first question on Town Plan "what's up?"
  2. Next was "Sustainability:  What's up?" 
  3. And then the Board of Finance Chair. asked the Legislators sitting next to him on the stage what we should be looking out for in the upcoming Session, which begins next week.  
  4. Fourth question was from opposed to the dog park regarding traffic safety which the Police Commission will deal with if asked.
  5. Back to State matters for question five.  
  6. National tax reform entered the discussion as question six.  
  7. Seven was "did you check out the record of the solar farm company?"  Which got answers from two folks so we counted it as two questions. 
  8. Number 8 was a searching one about what the Town knew about the company in charge of the virtual net metering arrangement we had just formalized. 
  9. Question 9 was a statement about the value of animals in formal and informal settings. 
  10. Question 10 was engagement with the subject of special needs children in educational settings...
  11. as was question 11.  
  12. Next must have been related to the procedures to be followed re:  Dog Park application (to just be received with no comments on substance of the 8-24).  Which prompted more discussion onstage about the 8-24 process and Special Town Meeting necessity if a "positive" 8-24 is given. 
  13. Perhaps there was another question re:  Dog Park.  
  14. Back to the Town Plan for #14
  15. And then a final (#15) question about need for new and/or more C.G.A. legislation against pesticides.   

Speak Up 2018 is over. 
Let's see how things go this year - during the Budget Process and the various other activities of government as relates to what items were hot at Speak Up...




About Town's version of how Weston CT was saved 21st century-style.  The threat to Weston is now Hartford. 
  1. The Weston FORUM originally came into being I think to shine a light on local political machinations - especially regarding which of its vacant land got gobbled up. 
  2. The original FORUM went to every house for free.
  3. Every major Board and Commission had a reporter to follow it - P&Z was "front page news" then. 
  4. When Acorn Press took over the FORUM* (early 1990's) it began to look like every other local paper...Acorn Press merged with Hersam (New Canaan) outlets...
  5. Ultimately the "Weston FORUM" in name only - regionalized with Redding and Easton ("Aspetuck News")...which is when...
  6. "Weston-Today" was born.  Weston needed a "hometown" voice** - and that meant having its own newspaper  by and for Westonites.

--------------------------

* Some might not remember the FORUM front page fight referred to in #1 above:  "Access to Town owned parks...for all."  However, the most valued commodity in Weston is privacy...
**Legal action might not have been the most efficient tool, or "voice," but starting a rival newspaper @1990 to drive out the FORUM as a hometown newspaper did the trick.




What does a PhD do when she is forced to stay inside?


It appears to us that the Town is trying get out news - "HOT NEWS"  or tips - via the website...COVID-19 new page